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Posted by on Sep 30, 2017 in Breast cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study aimed to compare the sexual health of breast cancer survivors to that of women from the general population.

This study concluded that breast cancer survivors had poorer sexual health when compared to women from the general population. 

Some background

Post-treatment care is becoming more important in cancer patients to ensure long-term quality of life. Some cancer treatments can cause side effects that need to managed when treatment is finished. Sexual health (SH) and femininity are issues that affect women who survive breast cancer. It is important that these issues are tended to.

It was not known if breast cancer survivors had significantly different sexual health than women from the general population.  

Methods & findings

This study involved 105 breast cancer survivors (BCS) and 97 women with no previous or current breast cancer (WNBC). Both groups underwent a patient reported outcome (PRO) assessment. PRO instruments were used to measure SH, body image, anxiety and depression and menopausal symptoms.

The average mean SH score was significantly lower for the BCS group compared to the WNBC group.

68.8% of the BCS group could be classified as having hypo-active sexual desire disorder (HSDD) compared to 58.8% of the WNBC group. HSDD is where there is an absence of desire for sexual activity.

Patients within the BCS group who had higher depressive symptoms, higher age and lower partnership satisfaction had poorer SH. 

The bottom line

This study concluded that BCS have different SH problems when compared to women in the general population. Interventions to improve sexual dysfunction and help with depressive symptoms and partnership problems are recommended. 

What’s next?

Consult your physician about post-treatment care for breast cancer.  

Published By :

BMC cancer

Date :

Aug 30, 2017

Original Title :

Self-reported sexual health: Breast cancer survivors compared to women from the general population – an observational study.

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